Joe Walsh (politician)Latest News and Opinion
Posted Monday 7/16/18 at 7:14AM EDT
On Who Is America?, Sacha Baron Cohen's characters feel right at home amid 2018 absurdities
Cohen's new Showtime series had a tough task in 2018 America because the ridiculous and absurd have become mainstream. "Given the tone of American politics these days, getting audiences to laugh at their eccentricities is a tough ask," says Alison Herman. "Merely sharing Cohen’s disgust may not be enough for character comedy to play in 2018, when the average internet user is subjected to a torrent of equally outrageous, disturbingly non-satirical figures every time they open their browsers." Yet Who Is America? manages to work, she says, especially when it's not funny, like in the first episode's segment advocating that kids carry guns. "To ask whether what follows is 'funny' feels almost besides the point," says Herman. "I can’t blame anyone who decides that a nauseating illustration of America’s psychosis is not what they want out of their Sunday night entertainment. Those who stick around, however, are treated to proof positive that the world has finally caught up with Cohen’s oeuvre. The twist is that Cohen’s guises no longer feel hilariously out of place when inserted into everyday life. They feel right at home, baring what ails this country better than any anthropological trend piece about Trump supporters. Just don’t expect a barrel of laughs."
- When Who Is America? is on point like in the "Kill or Be Killed" segment, it's a reminder that some of our emperors have no clothes
- Cohen was the ultimate George W. Bush-era comedy star, so it's a pleasant surprise that Who Is America? is "urgently resonant with our own era"
- Shame was the secret ingredient on Da Ali G Show, but shame is missing on Who Is America?: "It's the difference between shocking and not shocking, between hilarious and simply fleetingly funny"
- Cohen's antics are out of place in 2018 America because "we’re fresh out of shame in this country right now"
- Cohen's political provocations are exhausting and dangerous
- Cohen's Da Ali G Show characters were innocent, but his Who Is America? characters are biased and aggressive with a fierce partisan agenda
- Only the Erran Morad segment worked, and it wasn't shocking because the people interviewed have already said insane things in public
- Who Is America? "exposes toxicity of accommodating what is wrong, or foolish, or weird, or totally insane, because there’s a camera there"
- The opening credits showed Trump mocking a disabled reporter -- perhaps a rebuttal to Sarah Palin saying Cohen "mocked disabled Americans"
- Former GOP congressman Joe Walsh tells CNN how he was tricked: “He’s a funny guy because he gets people to say stupid things. He gets people to say stupid things because he lies to them"
- Reed College didn't know it would be associated with Cohen's fictional Professor Dr. Nira Cain-N’Degeocello
- Ranking Cohen's new characters: Dr. Nira Cain-N’Degeocello is a pastiche of everyone ever on Portlandia
- Nathan for You's Nathan Fielder is listed as a Who Is America? consulting producer
Posted Friday 7/13/18 at 2:51AM EDT
Sacha Baron Cohen's victims are sure doing a good job promoting Who Is America?
"So far, the comedian has been promoting Who Is America? with videos parodying Trump University and asking Dick Cheney to sign a 'waterboard kit,'" says Marissa Martinelli. "He needn’t have bothered, though, because the best advertisements for the show so far are very public complaints by conservatives like Sarah Palin, Roy Moore, and Joe Walsh, all of whom admit to having being duped by his latest characters."
- Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is "pissed" at Cohen, who duped him as a Trump-loving Finnish comedian
- Conservative radio host Austin Rhodes: I was duped last summer when Cohen's people pitched me on a CBS show called Bridging the Divide
- Cohen has created his own Infowars-style conspiracy website for his show
Posted Wednesday 7/11/18 at 1:35PM EDT
Joe Walsh, former Republican congressman, also admits Sacha Baron Cohen duped him
Walsh detailed on Twitter how Cohen's new Showtime show Who Is America? duped him by honoring him as a defender of Israel -- even giving him an award. "Dressing up as a wounded veteran is absolutely stolen valor, his tactics are disguisting - I know cause I too was duped," tweeted Walsh, who added: "Side note to my story - I totally get @SachaBaronCohen's gig. He's a comedian, and he can be funny, but mocking a disabled veteran to spoof @SarahPalinUSA is a serious matter. I am just telling you what I encountered - it was much of the same she experienced." Walsh thanked Showtime for the award, which he tweeted a photo of, but he also added the hashtag "#boycottShowtime."